The Role of Religiosity in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Utilization Open Access

Abraha, Robiel (2015)

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that in 2012 alone, nearly twenty million people who were in need of treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) reported not receiving any treatment. The significant unmet need for treatment among people with substance problems poses a profound public health challenge given that untreated alcohol or drug use disorders lead to deleterious mental and physical health outcomes. Therefore, identifying barriers and predictors of SUD treatment receipt remains a vital priority for public health researchers. While past research consistently identified the beneficial role of religiosity in the prevention of substance use, very few studies have expanded upon this finding to investigate the role of religiosity in the utilization of treatment for SUD. To address this gap in the literature, this study examined the association between religiosity and the receipt of SUD treatment by using a nationally representative sample of 26,287 adults with SUD, which were drawn from the 2008 - 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). With the Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization as the theoretical framework, the sample was divided according to the type of SUD diagnosis and then a range of binomial logistic regressions were conducted to predict SUD treatment utilization, with particular focus on specialty and self-help treatment. Although an overall inverse relationship between religiosity and SUD treatment receipt was hypothesized, regression results indicated that religiosity actually increased the odds of any SUD treatment receipt among individuals with a drug use disorder by 52% (p<0.05). Religiosity was also significantly associated with specialty SUD treatment receipt among individuals with a drug use disorder (p<0.01). Finally, religiosity was associated with self-help SUD treatment receipt among individuals with an alcohol use disorder (p<0.01) and individuals with a drug use disorder (p<0.01). This study not only helped fill a gap in the existing research literature, but also produced findings which have important implications for drug treatment policy, clinical practice, and forthcoming public health research.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 8

Literature Review. 9

Substance Use Disorders. 9

Religiosity and Substance Use Disorders. 9

Religiosity and Self-Help Treatment Utilization. 12

Religiosity and Specialty Treatment Utilization. 13

Religiosity and Mental Health Treatment Utilization. 14

New Contribution. 16

Research Questions and Hypotheses. 18

Methods. 19

Data Source and Sample. 19

Theoretical Framework. 19

Conceptual Model. 20

Variables. 21

Data Analysis. 24

Results. 26

Demographics. 26

Analysis for 1st Research Question: Any Treatment Receipt. 28

Analysis for 2nd Research Question: Specialty Treatment Receipt. 30

Analysis for 3rd Research Question: Self-Help Treatment Receipt. 32

Discussion. 34

Summary of Findings. 34

Policy and Clinical Implications. 35

Limitations. 37

Future Research. 38

Conclusion. 39

Reference. 40

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